Artistic and creative careers are among the most rewarding, but they also come with unique challenges. We asked some of the city’s best creatives to tell us why they choose to pursue a creative career.

Evelin Juen | visual artist, musician and writer

I guess, it was already written in my book of life, that art in its various forms of expression will be my destiny, creativity and love for art was always in me and with me and came out of me. Since childhood, my aim to draw, to paint, to write and to sing played an important role and formed my way of worldoutlook. After highschool, I decided to go to university to study history of art and archäology, to get deeper into material. I was highly fascinated by the overwhelming richness of human beings art output, expressing their inner world, social life, political situations, religiousness, love, fear, hate and joy from the very beginning of his kind. Read more>>

Andrew Di pardo | Filmmaker

Growing up in Toronto, my dad was a photographer and seeing his creative process mixed in with the music of Duran Duran inspired me to consider an artistic career. I always enjoyed the process of making something from a scratch and seeing where it would go. At the age of 12 I picked up the habit of writing screenplays and by the age of 16 I began making my own films to showcase my work. 10 years later I’ve created a decent body of independent films in which I wrote, acted and Directed. Read more>>

Connie Chavarria | Fashion Model

The artistic and creative career I chose was modeling and an influencer for the transgender community. The reason why I chose this career is because being behind the camera and being ones photographer‘s muse is one of the dopest feelings yet! Seeing the aftermath of the pictures and the great work of editing from the photographers just makes me happy. Feels like I’m in my zone, like this is what I’m supposed to do. Being transgender isn’t always easy. so I know showing how confident I am with my own creative aesthetic style and representing this community can help others. To be more confident within themselves. Read more>>

Sabrina Guyton | Motion Designer

I actually did not think of pursuing a creative career until I was a junior in high school. I had grown up with an appreciation for art, but what made me choose to pursue a creative career was the result of attending an open house at SCAD one spring day in Atlanta. That day, I went to workshops for graphic design, visual effects, animation, and film and television, but none sparked my full interest – they were all professions that I enjoyed facets of but none felt like the right fit when in consideration for my career. It was towards the end of the day when I came upon a room labeled “Motion Media Design” and found the answer for how I could do everything I love all at once. Read more>>

Rae Samuels | Mixed Media artist & Paper maker

I am a daughter of an artist and I have loved art since I was a young child. Making art has always been a way to express myself , document my life journey , and make new memories.. Being able to teach others that that can make art while also still being able to create everyday is truly a dream and I love helping others discover that they too can do anything that they put their mind to. After pursuing many different roads I always come back to making art. It is what feels like home. Read more>>

Kevaun ‘Folks | Artist, writer, and producer

I feel as though we all have an artistic side. Some just are more elevated in it than others. Honestly going to concerts in the 90s, and also being in a family that’s musically inclined kind of pushed me into the music artist career. Plus I wrote poetry growing up and played instruments while singing in the choir growing up, it’s just in me. Music helps me express things that I can’t normally express because I have social anxiety for real for real. It’s a way to connect to others that may feel down or alone and it can real make a positive impact. Plus, why not make a profit doing what you love right? The regular 9 to 5 just doesn’t sit right with me. To each his or her own but I prefer this type of career because honestly, it feels more free! Read more>>

Naomi Grace Speaks | Social Media Specialist

I looked up to creative people, the ones who started their own businesses, the ones who could draw, curate, dance, design and the ones who had artistic talents. I sought the freedom they unknowingly flaunted. I longed to be that way and I love to surround myself with creative people, yet I never knew how my own creativity was going to reveal itself. Upon reflection, it was always there–my obsession with photography, editing and writing are all good examples. My work in Naomi’s Social World is a result of me making space in my life for creativity and then giving myself permission to take my passion seriously. Read more>>

Jordan Von Eppinger | The Knotted Mama

I have always had a love for creating. As a teen and young adult, I struggled with how to pursue something I enjoyed while also supporting myself. So, I took a chance at starting my creative career in cosmetology. After having my second child, working full time while breastfeeding and late hours wasn’t an option for me. I started suffering from postpartum depression. I didn’t want to leave my son but I knew I had to do something for myself. I had made a few macrame earrings the year before and sold them around Christmas time. I figured, why not? So my dabbling in macrame began again and honestly, it was so therapeutic. Helping my depression while also letting me express myself through art? It’s a win win. Read more>>

Zoya Hill | Licensed Esthetician, Wax specialist, lash artist & skin care influencer

Well I’ve always wanted to be in the beauty industry in someway shape or form. I just really fell in love with the idea of making people feel beautiful. I went to cosmetology school to do hair and that’s how I found out about the aesthetic program and realize that’s a little more In my field of what I wanna do. Once I started not only did I fall in love with everything I was doing, it was almost like second nature for me. I just felt so in my element I knew right then and there that this is exactly what I was supposed to be doing. Read more>>

Nolan Terrebonne | Photographer

It was an outlet for a ton of emotions and tensions. A way to balance out all that to a positive outcome. Being creative for me will always be about freedom of expression, really freedom in general. Read more>>

Yah Doctrine (Devlyn Stubbs) | Musician: World Music, Reggae, Hip Hop. Coordinator of The 242 Artist Network, The Bahamas

My goal as creative is to utilise my talents for the betterment of my community. Music brings people together but if left solely in the hands of greedy self interested parties, some amazingly talented artists may never be heard, and their unique messages lost to the disadvantage of society at large. I grew up in a middle class single parent home with a loving mother and good upbringing, yet being adopted I felt an emptiness which lead me to search for my historical roots. I began to see that my immediate situation was similar to predicament we all as African decedents in diaspora around the globe face; being cut off from our heritage and adopting another culture and way of life. Read more>>